Text by Arielle Tsoukatos
Exfoliating is an essential part of every skincare regimen and helpful for anyone combating pesky skin conditions such as acne, ageing, pigmentation, and dullness.
Why do we need to exfoliate?
Ever wondered why babies have perfectly smooth skin? While the secret behind eternally youthful skin is quite complex – science agrees that a big factor is the rate of skin cell turnover. Basically, our skin’s texture becomes increasingly rough as we age because the rate of cell renewal slows down dramatically. Dead cells on your skin’s surface stick around for much longer, this tends to accentuate those fine lines and can make your complexion look dull and lifeless. Good news: we can increase this natural turnover pretty easily via exfoliation.
Waso Soft+Cushy Polisher, SHISEIDO
What is exfoliating?
Exfoliating is the process of sloughing away dead skin cells and sebum build-up. If you’re not already using one as part of your skin care regimen – it’s time to lift your game. The latest crop of exfoliators come in varying forms: physical, chemical, natural, peels, serums and masks. Knowing which one is best can be overwhelming which is why we’re breaking it down for you.
7 Day Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula, Clinique
What are chemical exfoliants?
The two main types of chemical exfoliants are AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHA or beta hydroxy acids. These are rapid, oil-soluble formulas (that means they won’t break down with water) so they can penetrate deep into your pores. They are also hero ingredients that are used in many facial cleansers, toners, exfoliators, pimple treatments and body washes – targeting congestion and breakouts.
Do you have sensitive skin?
There’s no denying: The idea of “chemical exfoliation” is super intimidating, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin. However, chemical exfoliation can be used on all skin types — you just have to be mindful of what acid you’re applying on your skin.
Luckily, PHAs (polyhydroxy acids) are alternative gentler acids that might be the solution for sensitive skin types who’ve yet to experience how effective regular chemical exfoliation can be.
Do you have oily skin?
Historically, we haven’t been a big fan scrubs as they can be way too harsh yet, a gentle formula can be used to refine the very surface of the skin. While they can’t penetrate deeper layers to treat pigmentation and signs of ageing – scrubs still have their place in the skincare world.
Some face scrubs contain ingredients like menthol, peppermint, and eucalyptus that tingle on contact and leave a cooling sensation after you rinse.
Face Polish, Laura Mercier
Want to make your own exfoliators? You’ll love this: 3 super-simple DIY body scrubs for your next Saturday afternoon
Images courtesy of brands